Review – The High Cost of Dissidence

Review – The High Cost of Dissidence

Background

In Reversal, when he’s unsure whether he’ll be separated from Lili, Doug investigates Lili’s Mirror Universe counterpart.

Review – The High Cost of Dissidence
Hall of Mirrors

In Fortune, Norri refers to that counterpart as Charlotte. Lili and Charlotte begin life somewhat similarly, but things diverge rather quickly. For one thing, Charlotte has a little brother, Declan (and, when Lili and Malcolm have a child, they name him Declan Reed in honor of the boy with no counterpart). In addition, much as is shown in Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions, Charlotte is sent away to boarding school at a young age. At the time of The High Cost of Dissidence, Charlotte is nine, and Declan O’Day is seven and is close to being sent to boarding school as well.

Plot

The story begins with Charlotte coming home from school, for the first time in months, and noticing that things are not right. She may be young, but she’s no fool, and she figures out quickly that the family’s expensive and fancy possessions are all gone. There is no more car. The flash cooker is gone. Most of the furniture is gone. And her parents are arguing.

Review – The High Cost of Dissidence

What are they arguing about? It’s Pete, her father. He’s ruined them all, by carelessly mentioning that things under Emperor Philip Green IV (the same emperor as the one defeated by Hoshi in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses) are less than optimal. He has lost his job, his wife, Marie Helêne, can no longer sell her pottery, and they are falling, ever and onward, into financial ruin.

And then, much like happened in Nazi Germany, there’s an ominous knock on the door.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

One of the easiest ways for the suspension of disbelief to come crashing down, when it comes to the Star Trek Mirror Universe, is the sameness of the lives of the counterparts, particularly given the backgrounds of violence, fear and intimidation in most of the episodes centered around this alternate universe. Although it is, technically, possible to have an evil version of everyone but nearly everything else be the same (including parentage), the likelihood just plain isn’t there.

Therefore, when I was first spinning out Reversal, I decided that Lili’s counterpart would have a brother who would, unevenly, not show up in the prime universe. Further, the biggest divergence between the two Lili/Charlotte counterparts occurs here, and it had not been written before. Charlotte and her mother had only been glimpsed in a photo, and Declan and Peter O’Day had never been seen.

I like how it turned out; it rips off the sexy, campy veneer of the Mirror Universe and exposes it as the totalitarian nightmare that it should be.


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